Inverted Colors on Laptop Screen

faulty screenWhen you turn on your laptop, you notice that the colors on the screen are inverted – black is white, white is black and instead of blue you see orange. This is sometimes referred as negative mode or negative display. In addition to these symptoms, the picture is very dark/dim and it can flicker at low brightness. When you connect the laptop to an external display (PC monitor, TV) the picture is perfect, which means that the graphic card in the laptop works fine and the problem lies in the screen.

Two parts of the screen that can be replaced, the inverter and the backlight, are most probably not the causes of the malfunction. The inverter supplies the power to the screen – and there is power, and the backlight lights up every time too, so replacing these two won’t help. The real cause is unknown but the solution is: replace the whole screen. If your laptop is not under warranty and you don’t want to spend $200 for a new screen, you are left with two options: look for a used screen on eBay (which can take time, it may still be expensive and you’ll have to install it yourself) or use a software called Powerstrip.

Powerstrip is a special program that is designed to provide hardware support to graphic cards. It has around 500 controls over your display hardware, including color correction tools, adjustments over screen geometry and driver independent clock controls.  A simple gamma correction will invert the colors back to normal. Once you install the program, click on the tray icon, Color Profiles and tick the Invert gamma ramp (negative image) box. You can also play with the four settings under color adjustment: gamma, brightness, contrast and temperature. If you want to try the program first, there is a 30-day trial version. Otherwise, a single user license will cost you US$29.95.

I tested this myself and it worked, although it wasn’t 100% perfect. On the other hand, if you need a quick fix so you can keep working with your laptop, this is a cheap and effective solution.

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